Archive | July, 2013

It’s Getting “Hot in Herre”: Tropical Banana Popsicles

19 Jul

What to do with a bunch of browning bananas?

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The answer would be “banana bread” any other month.  But the thought of using the oven in this sweltering heat makes me want to pass out.  Instead, I turned to a frozen banana-based treat to cool things down.  Three simple ingredients and a blender/food processor are all you need.  Er, and a popsicle mold (minor detail), which you can purchase at your local grocery store for a dollar or two.  A worthy investment to help you survive a hot and sticky summer.

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Banana, mango, and coconut combine to give you a taste of the tropics without leaving your home.  The texture of the popsicle is smooth and creamy, making it easy to gobble up in seconds.  In hindsight, the flavours would meld really nicely with a hit of tartness from either lime zest or lime juice.  If you try this at home, I’d love to hear how they turn out.

If something more simple is your thing, or if you don’t want to spend the $2 on a popsicle mold, here is a “recipe” for homemade banana ice cream which requires only ONE ingredient (can you guess?) and ONE tool (blender/food processor).  The texture is so amazingly creamy, it’s hard to believe that no milk has been added.  It reminds me of authentic banana gelato from Italy, one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

Keep cool, my friends!

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Tropical Banana Mango Coconut Popsicles
(Modified slightly from Oh She Glows)

2 small, ripe bananas (or 1 large banana)
2 cups frozen mango chunks, slightly thawed
1/2 cup light coconut milk

In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set.

Makes 8 popsicles.  Per popsicle: 66 kcal, 14 g CHO, 1.6 g fibre, 1 g fat

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Garlic Scape Pesto: a Dollop a Day Keeps the Vampires Away

10 Jul

I’m lucky if anyone is still reading this after a dismal 6 week hiatus from the blogosphere.  For those of you still following, my absence can be explained by the following photo…

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Isn’t she sweet?!  I’ve learned a lot in my 5 weeks as a new mom.  In the early days, there was barely time to eat dinner (leaving a brand new puppy out of your sight for a split second has serious consequences!).  Luckily, we’re at the point where Cora will happily sit at my feet and occupy herself while I cook.

Enough about the dog.  Onto the food.

I’d be eating eggs or salad for dinner nightly if it weren’t for my Fresh City Farms box.  Thankfully, my produce-fairy-godmother leaves a bag of fresh, local veggies at my door every two weeks.  This inspires me to cook on the fly and allows odds and ends from the fridge to get used before they rot.  My most recent box contained a bunch of garlic scapes. The obvious thing to do was make garlic scape pesto. And that I did.

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Garlic scapes are the green stalks of the garlic plant.  They have a slightly milder taste than garlic bulbs and can be used in stir-fries, marinades, or pureed into a pesto.  It was my first time using garlic scapes, and I decided to steal borrow inspiration from several recipes to come up with my own, lighter pesto.  When making pesto, the world is your oyster beyond the staple ingredients of garlic scapes (or basil in a traditional pesto), nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan. A green onion was thrown into the mix because I had one, and in lieu of boatloads of olive oil I added plain yogurt for creaminess.  In hindsight, I wish lemon juice came to mind as this would have added a really nice tang.  I also wish I hadn’t been too lazy to toast the almonds.  C’est la vie.

What a little rascal!

Little rascal

From the table to the floor in one quick swoop!

From the table to the floor in one quick swoop!

Overall, I’m pleased with how the pesto turned out.  The taste was IN YOUR FACE garlic with a serious bite.  Don’t make this for a first date.  Or if you plan on doing anything other than sitting on your rear for the remainder of the day.  On the bright side, Cora doesn’t seem to be bothered by my garlic breath.  She truly is a girl’s best friend.

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Lightened-Up Garlic Scape Pesto

7-8 garlic scapes, washed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 green onion, chopped
1/3 cup almonds (slivered or sliced), ideally toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Puree garlic scapes, green onion, and almonds in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and plain yogurt. Whirl well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pesto will be chunky.

Makes approximately 6 very garlicky servings.  Per serving: 150 kcal, 3 g CHO, 13.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 3.5 g protein, 75 mg sodium